Portrait of American Jews: The Last Half of the 20th Century (Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies)

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9780295974705: Portrait of American Jews: The Last Half of the 20th Century (Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies)
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Argues that while American life permits Jews to live in security, this security has led to new concerns--assimilation, intermarriage, and large numbers ignoring their heritage

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Basing his book on the lecture series he gave at the University of Washington, sociologist Heilman rehashes the problems of assimilation as it relates to the survival of American Jewry. Heilman discusses the postwar movement of Jews to the suburbs, the declines in Jewish birthrates, the rise in "outmarriage" and the "embarrassment and discomfort" of American Jews who felt "greater kinship to King Elvis than King David". Even as he notes that a tiny minority of "actively Jewish Jews" sought renewed spiritual learning and observance through the Havurah movement, he realizes that most "Jewish-Americans" viewed those who kept up traditional observance as "trapped in... meaningless customs." Heilman sadly concludes that "Holocaust museums... and Jewish book fairs are not enough." This isn't news, really, having been covered in various studies, journals and books, but for those who are truly concerned about Jewish continuity, this alarm cannot be repeated enough, and Heilman's account will be a welcome roundup and addition to other evaluations of American Jewish life.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780295974712: Portrait of American Jews: The Last Half of the Twentieth Century (Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies)

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ISBN 10:  0295974710 ISBN 13:  9780295974712
Publisher: University of Washington Press, 1995
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